History of Our Lady of Victories and St Anthony's
Our Lady of Victories, Southwell
The post Reformation development of Southwell begins in 1948 when a Mass centre, served from Newark, was opened in the Women’s Institute, Queen Street. This was a beginning - but no more than a faint shadow of the glories of Catholic life once associated with Southwell Minster. Something more worthy became a possibility when a site for a chapel was given as a legacy to the Catholic community. This site is in a commanding position off the Halam road with a fair prospect over a shallow wooded valley. Messrs. Reynolds and Scott were commissioned to draw up plans for a chapel and the contract for building was given to J.E.B. Wheatley of Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The foundation stone was laid by His Lordship Bishop Edward Ellis on Saturday, 7th. October, 1961. It is designed to seat a congregation of 200 and is to be dedicated to 'Our Lady of Victories.’
The new church was constructed of modern materials to express the spirit of Pointed Architecture with laminated wood stanchions used to carry the high pitched roof and stone pillars infilled with brickwork. Emphasis is given to the sanctuary by a slightly curved rear wall of natural stone. Finished it actually seats about 180 and with furnishings cost about £17,500.
Initially the new chapel was served by priests from Newark Parish Church, and indeed the original idea for its construction had come from Canon J.B. Farmer, the then parish priest there, who, unfortunately was to die just two weeks after the Blessing and Opening ceremony on July 12th, 1962. Soon however a new parish area was created which took in part of the Holy Trinity, Newark and the Good Shepherd, Nottingham parishes, and Our Lady of Victories became a parish church in its own right.
Parish Centre - Our Lady of Victories
We are very proud of our Parish Centre which was opened and blessed by Bishop McGuiness on October 26th 1999. At the preceding Mass the Bishop was assisted by Monsignor Jonathan Moore and our then Parish Priest Fr. Keith Frisby. Monsignor Moore, who gave the homily, concluded by saying, ‘You are now well resourced to work on that greater building - founded on the Apostles and Saints with Christ Jesus as its cornerstone planted in love and built on love, growing into a holy temple in the Lord, being built into a house where God lives in the Spirit.’
The Parish Centre is regularly used for parish activities ranging from Quiz Night’s and themed dining evenings to Christmas Bazaars, Deanery meetings, and Catechism classes . It houses our Children’s Liturgy group during Sunday mass and the Southwell ‘Live at Home’ Scheme's coffee mornings in the week.
The Centre is available for hire for Birthdays, Baptism, Wedding, Anniversary, Funeral receptions, and also for meetings of local organisations and clubs. More details can be viewed on the 'Parish Centre' page. A copy of the terms and conditions of hire, charges and a booking form may be obtained by phoning or emailing the Parish Secretary using the contact information on the 'Contact Us' page.
St Anthony's, Calverton
The church of St. Anthony at Calverton, housed at that time in an old prefabricated building erected in 1945, was included in the ‘new’ parish. In 1992, as a result of Fr. Keith Frisby’s initiative, plans were made to build a new church, on the existing site, that would have a dual religious and social use. The design was undertaken by Marshall Architects of Nottingham and is to a triangular plan with the roof supported by three large Douglas Fir Queen Post Trusses decreasing in height towards the altar. Fair faced brickwork is used internally with natural pine for all joinery and the boarded roof. This new church, dedicated to St.Anthony, was completed in 1993 and solemnly Blessed and Opened by Bishop James McGuinness on December 15th, 1993.
In 1997 an internal narthex (entrance lobby) together with organ and choir loft was added to Our Lady of Victories church whilst, at the same time, plans were being developed, for what was eventually to become a circular and lofty Parish Centre, to be built and connected directly to the church.
This major development was Opened and Blessed by Bishop McGuinness on October 29th, 1999. It has added greatly to the further development of the community life of the parish. Both developments were again designed by Marshall Architects of Nottingham and, together with St Anthony’s Church, represented a lasting and tangible tribute to the foresight of our Priest Fr Keith Frisby.
The Parish is now served by Fr Andrew Harding. He was ordained Priest at Our Lady of Victories on 15th September 2013 and is a Priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.